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In-office ear tubes for children: The Hummingbird

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The Hummingbird device is used to place pediatric ear tubes.

Ear infections in children are the most common reason families visit their pediatrician’s office each year in the United States. In fact, 75% of pediatric patients will have at least one ear infection by the time they are 3 years old, and 1 in 15 children will have ear tubes placed.

Ear tube placement is often recommended for children with reoccurring ear infections. This procedure helps create proper air flow to the ear and reduces fluid buildup, while greatly decreasing the likelihood of future ear infections.

Most commonly, ear tube placement is performed in an operating room setting and involves fasting, general anesthesia and post-recovery care and monitoring. Parents also undergo the challenge of managing the stress associated with surgery for their child, as well as costs that are often significant.

The Hummingbird procedure

Dr. Jon Slezak, an otolaryngologist with BayCare Clinic Ear, Nose & Throat, is one of two providers in Wisconsin to offer parents an alternative to traditional ear tube surgery. This new, simplified approach uses the FDA-cleared Hummingbird® device.

“Hummingbird is a great option for most patients that would otherwise undergo ear tube placement in the operating room,” Slezak says. “The procedure avoids the risk of general anesthesia and can be completed within a 15-minute in-office appointment. It eliminates the need for the child to go without eating and is just as effective as routine ear tube placement surgery.”

Parents are also encouraged to stay in the room during a Hummingbird ear tube placement procedure, reducing stress and bringing comfort to their child.

How does it work?

Dr. Slezak starts by carefully applying a topical anesthetic to numb your child’s ear drum. He will then use the proprietary Hummingbird device to safely place the ear tubes in a single pass.

In total, the ear tube placement is typically performed in less than 5 minutes, and your child may return to normal activities immediately after the procedure.


The Hummingbird procedure helps you avoid common risks and challenges that often come with traditional ear tube surgery by removing the need for:  

  • Pre-operative testing    
  • Fasting
  • General anesthesia
  • Post-recovery care at hospital (3-4 hours)
  • Additional costs for operating room and facility fees

The Hummingbird compared to traditional ear tube surgery

A successful, trusted ear tube placement procedure

In clinical studies, a 98% success rate was reported with an average procedure time of 5 minutes. In addition, it was found that 98% of parents would recommend the Hummingbird after experiencing the procedure with their own child.

Hummingbird procedure statistics from clinical trials

“Parents have been overwhelmingly positive in reports following the Hummingbird procedure,” Dr. Slezak says. “This includes the simplicity of the clinic appointment, patient tolerance and, most importantly, improvement in the patient’s symptoms.”

To learn more about this quick, safe and lower-cost option for pediatric ear tube placement, please contact us at 920-288-8230 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to discussing this option with you to determine if your child is a candidate for this new procedure.

To watch a short video on the Hummingbird, please visit Hummingbird Ear Tube Placement.

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2023